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November 1997

Microsoft Systems Journal Homepage

Editor's Note

All of you have seen the panicky virus alert email—the one that warns you that the act of opening some innocuous-looking piece of email not only deletes your hard drive, but also chars your toast, gets your dog pregnant, and burns out the light in your refrigerator. (We're still waiting for the Trojan horse that streams Hanson's "MMMBop" through your PC speakers with the volume set at 11—talk about fates worse than death.) Plus, in our experience, really important email is not tagged "!!!!!!Please Read!!!!!!" We usually reply privately to the pinheads who send these emails (taking time to tsk loudly), but we still witness a netstorm of email threads in which dozens of people hit Reply All. Let us save you some effort the next time you get one of these messages: the Computer Virus Myths page is at
Saving you effort is really our job. When you plunk down your hard-earned cash for a subscription to MSJ, you have a right to expect the latest technical content so you can take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies originating from Redmond. But occasionally, when you're far out on the cutting edge, you have to exercise some prudence. (The result of not doing so probably inspired the term "bleeding edge.") Our three feature articles this month introduce you to some key technologies at the core of Windows 98, Windows NT 5.0, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, but as a cautionary note you will see our form of the Surgeon General's Warning on the first page of each piece.
This month, Walt Oney explores the Win32 Driver Model (WDM), a new, common set of interfaces based on the Windows NT 4.0 driver model that will allow binary compatibility between Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0 device drivers. Next month Walt continues building on the foundation laid in this piece and walks you through a complete WDM sample.
Also in this issue, Mary Kirtland introduces the latest news on COM: COM+, a set of COM runtime services to assist in creating COM-based code. Mary will follow up in the coming months with in-depth articles showing you how to use COM+ in several language-specific programming models.
Finally, in his usual thorough, authoritative manner, Matt Pietrek tells you what's new in Windows NT 5.0 system DLLs. You'll find out about the latest and greatest improvements in the kernel, USER, and GDI, as well as the new NTFS version 5. Next month Matt continues drilling down on Windows NT 5.0 and Windows 98 when he discusses additions to the shell, WinInet, APVAPI32, common controls, and more.
To complement the in-depth coverage found here in MSJ, we recommend that you join MSDN Online (
). Become a member and you'll find unrivaled background information on today's technologies. And it's free! Those of you who are already MSDN subscribers know that it's an essential resource for developers, bringing together everything you need to be successful, including tools, technologies, education, information, and technical events. Starting this month, each issue of MSJ will provide links to specific MSDN Online features you may find useful.
By the way, "MMMBop" is a song, not a new MMX instruction mnemonic. Ask any twelve-year-old.

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